Rowan gets its alternative name of mountain ash from its abundance in upland areas and from the shape and pattern of its leaves, which resemble its unrelated namesake. It produces a large crop of vivid orange berries, popular with humans as well as birds. There is a long history of superstition connected with this tree and it his believed to have certain magical powers. In Scotland, for instance, it is considered unlucky to cut down a rowan. Wild service tree, service tree and whitebeam also produce fruit, but they rarely ripen in the British climate and it is thought that these trees spread mainly from shoots or suckers. The fruit has been eaten in many parts of the country but it has to be left to go rotten, or 'bletted' before they are edible. Wild service tree's 'chequers' and whitebeam fruit have also been used for making alcoholic liquor, no doubt sold in the many Chequers Inns.
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